Learning Paths

Learner autonomy



Exploring Italian High School Students' Metaphors of Language learning

(Learner Development Journal • Volume 1: Issue 1 • November 2017)

This paper reports the results of a survey carried out on the beliefs and attitudes held by Italian upper-secondary school students about foreign language learning. The survey used metaphors as a powerful tool to explore this hidden dimension of language learning.

Teacher Support and Teacher Challenge in Promoting Learner Autonomy

(Perspectives, a Journal of TESOL-Italy - Vol. XXIII, No. 2 Fall 1997)

Promoting autonomy means helping students find their own personal balance between dependence (on such factors as the teacher and the textbook) and self-regulation. If we become more aware of the degree to which we support and challenge learners in our  management of tasks and interaction, we can then better evaluate our teaching style, the activities we use, and our students' motivational profiles.


Language awareness - learning awareness in a communicative approach: A key to learner independence

(Perspectives, a Joumal of TESOL-Italy - Volume XVIII, Number 2, December 1992)

Learner awareness refers to both the content of learning (i.e. the linguistic and cultural input) and to the process of learning (i.e. the cognitive and metacognitive strategies used by learners and their beliefs and attitudes towards language and learning). Raising students' awareness and integrating it into the EFL syllabus will be a necessary step towards learner (and teacher) independence.


Towards learner autonomy: from study skills to learning strategies

(Perspectives, a Journal of TESOL-Italy - Vol. XVII, No. 1, July 1991)

Revisiting study skills as learning strategies can be the first step in educating students to become more autonomous (language) learners.


Learner training: integrating language and learning strategies

(The state of the art - The British Council 1991 Bologna Conference)

We can try to integrate the learning of a language with the awareness of what a language is, how it works and how it can be learnt. We do this because we believe that a good language learner is not just the one who can perform well, but also, and more importantly, the one who knows how to go about the task of learning.


Intercultural communication strategies for learner autonomy

(In Menegale, M., (2013) (Ed). Autonomy in language learning: Getting learners actively involved. IATEFL: Canterbury, UK.)

This paper argues for strategy education across the curriculum as a whole-person engagement, involving the activation of cognitive, affective and social factors, and as a descriptive, experiential and explicit pedagogical approach.





Surveys and questionnaires

Support vs challenge questionnaire

Learning to be autonomous means, among other things, finding a balance between dependence and self-regulation. This questionnaire will help teachers to think about the degree to which they support and challenge learners in their day-by-day classroom management.

Note: The purpose of the questionnaire is fully explained in my paper Teacher Support and Teacher Challenge in Promoting Learner Autonomy



Learning strategies
Learning styles
Study skills
Beliefs and attitudes

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